A bee pasture attracts pollinating insects to the garden and fulfills two important functions at once. First, the honey bee plants provide food for wild bees, bumblebees, butterflies and co. Second, it attracts insects to the garden that can also pollinate the fruit trees and other crops. How and when to plant bee pasture and what to consider when caring for it, we tell you in the article.
Table of contents
- Create bee pasture: Which woody plants, perennials, flowers and herbs are suitable?
- Marigold is one of the most popular honey bee plants.
- Planting bee pasture: The marigold (Tagetes)
- Perennial Bee Pasture Plants: The meadow sage
- The verbena (vervain)
- The milkweed provides food for caterpillars and butterflies
- Borage for the bee-friendly garden
- Create a bee pasture: The Anise Scented Nettle
Creating a bee pasture: Which woody plants, perennials, flowers and herbs are suitable?
But what is actually meant by a bee pasture? Basically, it’s an area in the garden where woody plants, wildflowers, herbs and various perennials with pollen-rich flowers grow. When designing a bee-friendly flower bed, make sure it looks as natural as possible. Once established, most plants can handle little maintenance. They will need fertilizer from time to time and possibly watering if the heat persists. As a rule, however, they are left to their own devices.
The woody plants, perennials, flowers and herbs that come into question must meet certain criteria. In the first place, the plants should form unfilled flowers that are easily accessible to bees. Secondly, it is important that the flowers are rich in pollen and nectar. Furthermore, when planting, care should be taken to combine early-flowering with summer-flowering and late-flowering species so that insects can find food throughout the year.
Certain grasses that provide nesting material for wild and especially mason bees may also be considered. It is also very important that all other plants in the garden (and if possible in the neighbors) are not treated with preparations such as pesticides. You should also avoid the use of chemicals and certain fertilizers. Below we list several plants that are candidates for bee pasture.
Marigold is one of the most popular honey bee pasture plants
Marigold is an annual plant that produces red, orange or yellow flowers. The maximum height of growth can vary greatly depending on the variety. If they grow too tall, you can cut them back. Marigolds are not only perfect for bee pasture, you can also plant them in the vegetable patch, as some varieties can control nematodes. You can sow the seeds for bee pasture after the end of permanent frosts. Location: sunny. Varieties of interest: resina, orange king, pink surprise, pacific beauty.
Planting bee pasture: The student flower (Tagetes).
Student flower is often confused with the marigold. The two not only look similar, but also have other things in common: they are excellent planting partners to various types of lettuce in the vegetable patch. In addition, they are beautiful perennial bloomers that attract not only bees, but butterflies as well.
Perennial bee-harvesting plants: The meadow sage
Meadow sage is a perennial plant that blooms in spring and summer. This variety is a true sun worshipper and easily tolerates prolonged heat and dry periods. Only waterlogging can poorly tolerate perennials. Good soil drainage is an absolute must. Otherwise, sage does well with little care.
The verbena (vervain)
Verbena prefers full sun, but may do well in partial shade. Verbenas do best in well-drained soil. They need more time in germination. It can take 4 to 6 weeks from planting the seeds to the first leaves of the young plants. Therefore, it is worthwhile to start growing them as early as April. Verbena is susceptible to powdery mildew, so leave adequate spacing between plants when planting.
The true milkweed provides food for caterpillars and butterflies.
The true milkweed provides food not only for bees, but also for butterflies. Its flowers and leaves are therefore very important for insects in the garden.
Borage for the bee-friendly garden.
The popular seasoning herb can be used to flavor the dish or dessert. Of course, it tastes best when harvested directly from your own garden. Borage, however, is not only loved by people for its taste. The plant is also flown by bees because it is rich in nectar with high sugar content.
Create bee pasture: The anise scented nettle
The anise scented nettle forms many small flowers rich in nectar and poles. From these, honeybees produce their honey, which smells of anise. They appear in spring and fall off only in autumn.So the plant is a useful addition to the bee-friendly garden. But it has even more to offer, because it is also used as a spice herb. With anise scented nettle you can also prepare aromatic teas. Annual anise scented nettle reproduces by self-seeding and requires little care. The most important things are the location – sunny, off-sun or semi-shade and the soil – nutrient-rich and permeable. Otherwise, the fragrant nettle has no special requirements.